The City of Sydney’s Oxford Street LGBTIQA+ Social and Cultural Place Strategy is open for submission until May 24. And this is the community’s chance to provide feedback on the plan.

Under the Strategy, the City has released a framework to recognise the importance of Oxford Street to the LGBTQI community. It will also identify places of LGBTQI significance while strengthening the street’s LGBTQI cultural identity.

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The framework includes protections for LGBTQI heritage items, highlighting LGBTQI history and culture, more LGBTQI artwork and rainbow crossings, protections for sex on premises venues, and incentives for LGBTQI employment and inclusion as well as the much talked about Pride Centre and museum.

Sydney would be the first city in Australia to implement policies that protect the historical and cultural identity of an LGBTQI precinct, joining New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and London.

Plagued with High Vacancies and Aggressive Vehicle Traffic

For years, Oxford Street has been plagued with high vacancies, aggressive vehicle traffic and the absence of a sustainable plan.

Sydney-based writer and LGBTQ historian, Garry Wotherspoon, reiterated this point, saying, “The economics of ‘what to do with Oxford Street’ can’t be ignored; a traffic funnel from the eastern suburbs to the city; inadequate parking, and a general ‘run-down’ appearance don’t help in revitalizing Oxford Street.”

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Wotherspoon continued, “There should be some space that is seen as the queer community’s haven, for those who are coming out and seeking ‘others like themselves’. 

“Even though social media provides one avenue, nothing can replace person-to-person contact, so we need a street whose ambience proclaims ‘hello, welcome to a safe space. You can consider this your home-away-from-home’.”

To have your say on the City of Sydney’s Oxford Street LGBTIQA+ Social and Cultural Place Strategy, fill out the survey here.

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